The primaries were surprisingly close Tuesday night in California. Nationally, the Democratic primary is still too close to call but the Republican one is all but final. The voting for the propositions in California and San Francisco were predictable to a degree.
In California, Hilary Clinton jumped out to a huge double digit percentage lead with the influx of absentee voters heavily favoring her campaign. Later on in the night, Barack Obama’s supporters clawed their way back to make the race close in the end. As of this moment with 96% of the precincts reporting, Clinton has secured the victory in California with 2,079,707 (52%) votes compared to Obama’s 1,698,048 (42%) votes.
Nationally, the race is even tighter between Clinton and Obama. Of the 22 states voting in on Super Tuesday, Obama won 13 with one state tied coming in to today. Clinton holds a small lead in the number of delegates with 974 to Obama’s 904. 2,025 are required for a victory.
On the Republican side of things, John McCain did not leap to the forefront in California as I predicted. Mitt Romney had a strong showing in the polls with 774,707 (34%) votes to McCain’s 961,399 (42%) votes. Even more astounding was the 263,344 (12%) votes for Mike Huckabee. As the underdog of the Republican race, Huckabee did not get the same airtime in debates or on the news as the other two candidates, but he won a couple states on Super Tuesday last night.
Nationally, the race was no contest. McCain holds a substantial lead in the delegates total with 677, far ahead of Huckabee’s 159 and Romney’s 152. Yes. Huckabee is ahead of Romney in the number of delegates. Huckabee has a strong following in the South where his evangelical background helped win many votes. With 1,191 delegates needed to win the Republican primary, McCain seems to be a sure bet to become the next Republican candidate.
Absentee voting really skews the results, especially this year. With John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani dropping out of their respective parties’ race, the votes they received from absentee ballots would have greatly helped their opponents. Both dropouts received around 150,000 votes each. If all of Giuliani’s voters had voted for Romney, he would have won California. If Edwards votes had gone to Obama, he would have grabbed a larger piece of the delegate pie. Unlike the Republican primaries where a win equates to the entirety of the state’s delegates going to the winner, the Democrats primaries splits the delegates based on the percentages. So every vote counts for the Democratic candidates.
The propositions in California did not go the way I thought they would.
Prop 91: Transportation Funds failed with 3,703,316 (58%) NO votes to 2,675,698 (42%) YES votes. I thought the publc would have voted YES on this proposition as it closes a loophole in the past Prop 1A.
Prop 92: Community Colleges Funding failed with 3,757,810 (57%) NO votes to 2,884,401 (43%) YES votes. I had expected the community college kids to all vote YES on this proposition due to the proposed $15/unit cap, but they proved me wrong. I applaud them for seeing past the eye candy to the real meat of proposition which was to give a select group of individuals total control of the community college funds.
Prop 93: Limits on Legislators’ Terms in Office failed with 3,553,660 (53%) NO votes to 3,092,450 (47%) YES votes. If the proposition did not have the clause to extend the current legislators past their current maximum term, then I truly believed this proposition would have passed.
Prop 94-97: Indian Gaming Compact passed with an average of 3,500,000 (55%) YES votes to 3,000,000 (45%) NO votes across the all four. I am disappointed in the public. We do not need more gambling and gamblers in California. Vegas and Reno handles all the problems, crime, and sorry stories already. But money speaks and the votes follow.
The San Francisco propositions went exactly as how I predicted which isn’t a big deal seeing as how each one was pretty straightforward.
Prop A: Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks passed with 139,531 (72%) YES votes to 55,180 (28%) NO votes. Clean and safe neighborhood parks are a must in any city.
Prop B: New Deferred Retirement Option Program for SFPD passed with 124,650 (65%) YES votes to 67,742 (35%) NO votes. A program that does not require new taxes? Sure, why not?
Prop C: Acquire and Convert Alcatraz Island to a Global Peace Center failed with 139,156 (72%) NO votes to 54,099 (28%) YES votes. The fact that 54,000 people actually voted YES on this proposition is pretty scary.